Sunday, April 24, 2011

Review: Madea's Big Happy Family

Disclaimer: I am an avid supporter of all Tyler Perry plays and films. This post is not intended to demean his character. The following thoughts are a reflection of the emotions evoked within me after viewing Madea's Big Happy Family on its opening day.

I saw Madea's Big Happy Family live when the tour of the play came to Jacksonville. I have the play on DVD. I paid to see the film version in theaters. However, I did NOT expect an exact replica of the plot and recycled lines. Though I laughed hysterically and cried briefly, I left the theater disappointed and somewhat ashamed. It pains me to have to point out the negative portions of a film that had such great potential BUT...

The African American stereotypes and lack of proof for relevance was pointless. Cue golddigging girlfriend, trifling baby mama, drug dealer father, overbearing wife #1, uppity wife #2, passive husband, disrespectful children and know-it-all elderly.

The opening scene(s) provided room for curiosity, but were severely discombobulated. The inadvertent placement of humor was a distraction from the story line and the overall message was not clear upon the film's conclusion.

Furthermore, Perry's attempt to use Madea's authoritative wit to bring a family together did not go unnoticed. Madea's hilarious antics were the highlight of the film. But, it's unfortunately hard to ignore the amateur editing and inability for most cast members to stick to the script. I'm a critical movie watcher and I pay attention to major and minor details. I recognized the mid-scene chuckles, wardrobe malfunctions and Bow Wow's stunt double. I'm not usually this critical of a Perry production, but as a fan, I expected better. I will not discourage moviegoers from seeing this film at their own discretion. Beware of Mr. Brown's foolery and an irritant name chant that drove me crazy.

Grade: C
*Music is Life... Poetry is love*